“Night Time Blooms”, a copyrighted post, was written for my WordPress blog called Always Growing by Jan in Covington, Louisiana
I finally am able to welcome an old favorite plant back into my garden. Years ago, my mother gave me a cutting from her night blooming cereus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum), and we enjoyed waiting and watching the gorgeous white blooming flowers for many years. Unfortunately, a few years ago, I lost my plant during a winter freeze. I was disappointed not only because I would no longer see these pretty, white flowers, but also because I had lost a plant that had been in my mother’s garden for so long, and there were so many good memories associated with the flower. The family staying up late to see the flowers, trying to freeze one of the flowers to preserve it (doesn’t work), kids excited to see such a strange flower, all these memories were conjured up every time I would look at the flowers.
Two years ago, I happened to mention to my sister that I had lost mom’s cereus in a freeze. She promptly spoke up and said she had mom’s plant and would give me a cutting. That cutting finally bloomed.
Part of the excitement over this flower is the anticipation. It seems as if the bud should open, and then, nothing. You keep checking night after night knowing if you miss the opening one night, the flower will be totally wilted by dawn. Here is the prehistoric looking bud.
The gorgeous white flower shows up very quickly.
It is so good to have this plant back in my garden and blooming.
One other night bloomer in my garden was given to me by a very generous neighbor. It is Epiphyllum hookeri. This flower, too, opens at night but will last until morning if protected from the sun.
While my neighbor gave me a plant, I have made numerous cuttings and have several plants around the garden. Both of these plants are very easy to propagate – just stick a leaf in soil and soon you have a plant. These must be protected in winter as they are tropicals, but these flowers are certainly worth that effort.